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The evolution of Shakespeare's comedy, in Larry Champion's view, is apparent in the expansion of his comic vision to include a complete reflection of human life while maintaining a comic detachment for the audience. Like the other popular dramatists of Elizabethan England, Shakespeare used the diverse comic motifs and devices which time and custom had proved effective. He went further, however, and created progressively deeper levels of characterization and plot interaction, thereby forming characters who were not merely devices subordinated to the needs of the plot.
Shakespeare's development as a comic playwright, suggests Champion, was “consistently in the direction of complexity or depth of characterization.” His earliest works, like those of his contemporaries, are essentially situation comedies: the humor arises from action rather than character. There is no significant development of the main characters; instead, they are manipulated into situations which are humorous as a result, for example, of mistaken identity or slapstick confusion. The ensuing phase of Shakespeare's comedy sets forth plots in which the emphasis is on identity rather than physical action, a revelation of character which occurs in one of two forms: either a hypocrite is exposed for what he actually is or a character who has assumed an unnatural or abnormal pose is forced to realize and admit the ridiculousness of his position. In the final comedies involving sin and sacrificial forgiveness, however, character development is concerned with a “transformation of values.”
Although each of the comedies is discussed, Champion concentrates on nine, dividing them according to the complexity of characterization. He pursues as well the playwright's efforts to achieve for the spectator the detached stance so vital to comedy. Shakespeare obtained this perspective, Champion observes, through experimentation with the use of material mirroring the main action―mockery, parody, or caricature―and through the use of a “comic pointer” who is himself involved in the action but is sufficiently independent of the other characters to provide the audience with an omniscient view.
Title: The Evolution of Shakespeare?s Comedy: A ...
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Book Condition: Good
Book Description Harvard University Press, 1970. Condition: Very Good. Ships from Reno, NV. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory # GRP106214806
Book Description Condition: Acceptable. May have some shelf-wear due to normal use. Seller Inventory # 0KVBKF006A6M
Book Description Harvard University Press, 1973. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 0674271416-2-4
Book Description Harvard University Press. Paperback. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, that‚ ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2919869785
Book Description Harvard University Press. PAPERBACK. Condition: Good. 0674271416 some light shelfwear. Seller Inventory # Z0674271416Z3
Book Description Harvard University Press. PAPERBACK. Condition: Good. 0674271416 We ship daily + good service buy with confidence. Seller Inventory # KHB-3905
Book Description Harvard University Press, 1973. Softcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket. First Edition; Second Printing. Clean adn tight throughout, with waps showing somelight edge and corner wear and rubbing to finish to covers. Seller Inventory # 7791
Book Description Harvard University Press January 1973, 1973. Paper Back. Condition: Good. Seller Inventory # 73765
Book Description Harvard University Press, 1973. Paperback. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0674271416
Book Description Harvard University Press. PAPERBACK. Condition: Good. 0674271416 Paperback 1973; ; ; 241 Pages; Harvard Press; Used Book in good condition. May have highlighting, markings, and signs of wear. Seller Inventory # 9780674271418